Understanding Walking and Cycling

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TobyCoulson
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Quoting Nick Woods:  Cycling has been on the rise for a while now; it would be interesting to see if the rate of RTAs has increased in proportion (one for Jonathan maybe \" class=\"smiley\" />). If more cyclists on the roads means less cars then the RTA rate could go down (less cars to be hit by) or up (more cyclist to aim at; much harder to miss one when there are so many about) From the BBC article Quote:But shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said:..........................."Tragically the number of cyclist deaths are now at a five-year high, reversing the progress that was starting to be made, and reports of new casualties are becoming a weekly occurrence," she said. This would suggest that more cyclists are being killed and could be down to more of them being on the roads although other issues were stated by Ms Eagle. I can't comment on her norks though
sforshaw
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Quoting TobyCoulson: Quoting Nick Woods:  Cycling has been on the rise for a while now; it would be interesting to see if the rate of RTAs has increased in proportion (one for Jonathan maybe \" class=\"smiley\" />). If more cyclists on the roads means less cars then the RTA rate could go down (less cars to be hit by) or up (more cyclist to aim at; much harder to miss one when there are so many about) From the BBC article Quote:But shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said:..........................."Tragically the number of cyclist deaths are now at a five-year high, reversing the progress that was starting to be made, and reports of new casualties are becoming a weekly occurrence," she said. This would suggest that more cyclists are being killed and could be down to more of them being on the roads although other issues were stated by Ms Eagle. I can't comment on her norks though She opened her mouth at an attempt at political mileage and used selective statistics for her own purpose. Seems it's all Labour are currently able to do. Stu.

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Jonathan Kay
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More details on today's initiative: Government BBC News Jonathan
Jonathan Kay
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Jonathan Kay
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"Health effects of the London bicycle sharing system: health impact modelling study", BMJ article. Summary (in full) Quote:Objective To model the impacts of the bicycle sharing system in London on the health of its users. Design Health impact modelling and evaluation, using a stochastic simulation model. Setting Central and inner London, England. Data sources Total population operational registration and usage data for the London cycle hire scheme (collected April 2011-March 2012), surveys of cycle hire users (collected 2011), and London data on travel, physical activity, road traffic collisions, and particulate air pollution (PM2.5, (collected 2005-12). Participants 578,607 users of the London cycle hire scheme, aged 14 years and over, with an estimated 78% of travel time accounted for by users younger than 45 years. Main outcome measures Change in lifelong disability adjusted life years (DALYs) based on one year impacts on incidence of disease and injury, modelled through medium term changes in physical activity, road traffic injuries, and exposure to air pollution. Results Over the year examined the users made 7.4 million cycle hire trips (estimated 71% of cycling time by men). These trips would mostly otherwise have been made on foot (31%) or by public transport (47%). To date there has been a trend towards fewer fatalities and injuries than expected on cycle hire bicycles. Using these observed injury rates, the population benefits from the cycle hire scheme substantially outweighed harms (net change -72 DALYs (95% credible interval -110 to -43) among men using cycle hire per accounting year; -15 (-42 to -6) among women; note that negative DALYs represent a health benefit). When we modelled cycle hire injury rates as being equal to background rates for all cycling in central London, these benefits were smaller and there was no evidence of a benefit among women (change -49 DALYs (-88 to -17) among men; -1 DALY (-27 to 12) among women). This sex difference largely reflected higher road collision fatality rates for female cyclists. At older ages the modelled benefits of cycling were much larger than the harms. Using background injury rates in the youngest age group (15 to 29 years), the medium term benefits and harms were both comparatively small and potentially negative. Conclusion London’s bicycle sharing system has positive health impacts overall, but these benefits are clearer for men than for women and for older users than for younger users. The potential benefits of cycling may not currently apply to all groups in all settings.Jonathan Edited by - Jonathan Kay on 3 Mar 2014 22:37:27
myothercarsa2cv
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Another conclusion is that women are not good cyclists, it would seem. I wonder why?
wild bill
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The biggest reason is that women are more timid than men and therefore tend not to occupy the middle of a traffic lane at lights (as an example) where they would be visible, but instead occupy the left hand side which puts them in the blind spot for lorries turning left. When cycling one has to take an offensive (and no i don't mean swearing etc\" class=\"smiley\" />) approach rather than defensive approach to make oneself more visible so as to protect ones life. Sadly many car drivers see this as the cyclist occupying space that they shouldn't be in (how dare they, they don't pay road tax etc etc Yaaaaawn) but in reality its essential to guard ones life against potential human error. If one is courteous both as a car driver and a cyclist there should be harmony. I will however when cycling take the offensive strategy and if a car driver finds that annoying because it will delay their journey by 30 seconds then so be it, as i see my life as more important than their journey time (driver's time management should take delays into account).
TobyCoulson
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There was a programme last week on BBC called Infected where a scientist introduced various parasites into his body and witnessed their effect on him. During the course of it he mentioned a parasite whose name I can't recall that can have an effect on one's awareness and could be a reason why some people have accidents. He's a cyclist himself and has had his fair share of accidents so he tested himself for this parasite. He proved negative and concluded that he just wasn't that good at riding a bike but it's interesting to think their could be an organism living inside you that affects your awareness and could explain the actions of some.
Jonathan Kay
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Yes, it's Toxoplasma gondii. The effects on behaviour in both rodents and humans are interesting but not definitive. There are some links to effects in rodents in that Wikipedia article. Here's a recent Scientific American article on humans. I think there's some truth in this in both species. There's not much doubt about the effects of this parasite of snails: watch the video. Jonathan
Jonathan Kay
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I had the same thought as wild bill on possible causes. Are women cyclists more likely to get caught on the low side of goods vehicles and not jump the lights? I don't know any good data that support this, yet, but it's discussed in this NHS Choices article. If this is correct then advanced stop areas will probably help a lot. We emphasise positive lane control when teaching cyclists, unlike the silly behaviour filmed, and IMHO probably staged, in this week's Top Gear. Jonathan